Web Development RFP: What is It? How to Write?

Want to develop an RFP for your business?
No idea how to start with it?

You have landed at the right place if you are looking to create or integrate RFP in your business.

Your web portal is the first thing your customers see, so having a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate reflects the benefits of your brand’s products/services and your unique value proposition (UVP).

Finding the right web developers to build your web solutionis the key to achieving this goal.

This journey begins with a well-structured web development RFP (request for proposal) that specifies every detail of your project.

Being one of the leading web development companies in Canada and the USA, we understand what most of the companies want in RFP. So, with the help of our experienced web development consultants we have written a blog about RFP to guide you with the most important points to include in RFP.

Let’s understand the basics.

What is a Web Development RFP?

A web development RFP is a document that a service buyer must create to find the best website development company in order to meet their business needs and goals.

For instance:

Let’s say you have a store of kids’ clothes and you are looking to create a mobile app for you store. You are looking for multiple bids to outsource the projects. For this you will want to make sure that the companies that are bidding must know:

  1. What is the scope of the project?
  2. What can be the cost of development?
  3. In how much time will the project be completed?
  4. What kind of technology can be used for development?
  5. What are the possible roadblocks?

The RFP document contains your project’s specific requirements and deliverables and your company and contact information. A well-structured RFP will help you in the vendor selection process and compare vendor bids.

Why Create a Web Development RFP?

An RFP for web portal development simplifies and improves the process by providing the vendors with all the necessary information. A well-crafted web solution development RFP also simplifies communication between you and the development supplier by addressing your future expectations and competencies.

In short, RFPs benefit both clients and vendors in the following ways:

  1. Every vendor has different expertise and different perspectives for your project development. With this, you will be able to evaluate the different approaches of each vendor before selecting one.
  2. You will be able to analyze the vendor’s skill, as you will get custom offers based on your project requirements.
  3. Even though you invest time and effort to write RFP, it saves your time from repeating the same information again and again.
  4. WIth RFP you can properly document the process, and set the benchmarks to measure project’s success, and provides clean & crisp communication.
  5. Expectations are cleared from the beginning which helps the agency if you are a good fit.

Web development process is important because web development goes through 7 phases of web development life-cycle to achieve top-notch results.

web development life cycle

Next, let’s have a look at the important criterias to include in RFP.

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9 Important Points to Include in the RFP

You want your web development RFP to stand out from the crowd by being more focused, self-aware, and straightforward than the other RFPs in your potential vendor’s inboxes.

Let’s have a look at the 9 most important points that you must include in your RFP document.

  1. Include Summary of Your Requirements to Get The General Idea

    Introduce your business and the purpose of the RFP. State what you want the service provider to do and what the pain point your business is facing, and if it’s a web redesign, state why it isn’t the current one serving your needs.

    The introduction should be brief and include critical elements such as:

    • Information about your company and your company’s ideology.
    • The most noticeable characteristics of the brand.
    • Your leading service or product.
    • The primary objective of web design.
    • The reason you’re submitting your RFP.
  2. Give Your Company’s Introduction and Background

    Describe your company, its objective, and your role within it. They’ve probably never heard of you and won’t be able to find out about your business.

    Also, tell a little about your values.

    What distinguishes you from your competitors?

    By describing your values and USPs, you increase your chances of finding an organization that is a good value fit for your goals and processes. Many agencies specialize in a specific area of web design, and they can make better recommendations if they know if you fit into one of their niches.

    For instance, if the vendor knows you’re a nonprofit from the start, they can make specific recommendations from their team members who have relevant experience and knowledge of how nonprofits succeed on the web.

  3. Detailed Information About Project Goals, Target Audience, and Conversions

    Explain what you intend to accomplish with the new web portal. What are the most important things, in your opinion, that will ensure success?

    Along with project objectives, you should consider who your web portal is intended to serve. Which of your target audiences will be the most reliant on your web solution?

    What steps do you want your customers to take?

    For instance, in the B2B space, sample goal conversions target consumers to reach out to your sales team, request a interactive product demo, or place an order through your website.

    Knowing the concrete goals and the specific site visitors whose needs you’re attempting to meet simplifies the development team’s job.

    Also, by assisting your vendor in understanding the different conversions for each audience, the design can be more tailored based on the audience most likely to visit that section.

  4. Give Your Project Budget to Get The Overall Idea

    You should include your available project budget, even if it’s your best guess. You should specify a range, “We’d like to spend $x but are willing to go up to $y for the right proposal”.

    Websites are like cars, ranging from $5,000 to $500,000. Telling them your budget means they’ll tell you what they can offer you for that price: a Hyundai, a Toyota, a BMW, or a Bentley.

    All excellent vehicles with distinct value propositions. If you don’t have a budget, at least let your vendor know what “level” you want by pointing out other web solution that you admire, want to emulate, or think would suit your needs. You are a professional organization looking for a professional service. It is acceptable to discuss money.

    Also, if you have a separate budget for assets such as photographs, illustrations, software licenses, services, and so on, make sure to include it.

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  5. Provide Project Timeline for Important Actions

    Setting milestones and meeting deadlines are essential for any business. So, the proposal timeline should be specified and highlighted at the top of the web design RFP.

    First and foremost, set the web project launch goal to specify the exact day you want your web solution design to go live.

    Second, inform vendors when they can expect to hear back on their responses.

    Third, notify all critical milestones such as new product launches, advertising campaigns, annual conferences, etc.

    Finally, avoid setting unrealistic deadlines. Even simple sites can take up to 8 weeks to complete, and 9-12 months is not uncommon for complex sites or web applications. If you are upfront about your timeline, your vendors will be forthcoming about its likelihood. An experienced web development consulting company can help you with the project timeline after understanding your requirements.

  6. Set Deliverables to Plan the Project

    While core objectives are about goals, deliverables are more about structure and functionality. The project scope is the most important section of the web design RFP. Therefore, you should take your time and carefully consider each point.

    First and foremost, consider what specific services you require. You want to build or redesign your web solution. However, do not jump to conclusions because you may also require additional services.

    This is where you should go into more detail about the project. To the best of your ability, describe all of the services you know you’ll be hiring a web team for. For example, in the case of a web redesign project, you could be paying for:

    • Project management
    • Content management system
    • Copywriting
    • Illustration
    • Design of information
    • Graphic design
    • Digital marketing
    • Front-end development (HTML/CSS, animations)
    • Backend development (CMS, third-party APIs, custom software/features)
    • Custom software or app creation
    • Optimization of mobile devices
    • Audit of accessibility
    • Quality assurance and testing
    • SEO
    • Educating prospective buyers

    A sitemap and wireframes could be deliverables for a task like information design. It could be source files in Photoshop or Sketch format for visual design.

    Project management, for example, does not have a specific deliverable, but it is an important part of the process, and doing it well is an important component of successful projects. It’s best to be explicit about what needs to be delivered, but it’s also fine if you don’t know what’s involved.

  7. Technical Requirements of the Project

    This is a broad topic, but your goal here is to describe any limitations or requirements you know in advance. Because a web portal is fundamentally a technical software product, such details may have the greatest impact on the timeline and deliverables.

    Here are some examples of technical requirements:

    • eCommerce Technical Requirements

      Do you intend to sell products or accept credit cards through e-commerce?

      Retail merchants need shopping carts, user accounts, inventory control, and shipping calculators. Are there other additional rules that should be followed if you accept sales of products, such as discounts for specific users, gift cards, and so on? All of this information will assist vendors in recommending the best tools for the project.

    • Content Management Software Technical Requirements

      Do you require a specific platform, such as Drupal or Joomla? Are you willing to consider unfamiliar options as thousands of CMS software options are available in the market?

      The vendor may also have an in-house solution that will meet your requirements well. Large projects may necessitate the creation of a custom platform for your company. It’s also perfectly acceptable to say you have no preference and are open to vendor recommendations.

    • Backend Programming Language Requirements

      Is your system only compatible with a specific language for custom web software development, such as PHP, JavaScript, or Node? Do you already have an infrastructure that the vendor should be familiar with?

      There are so many backend languages and different types of databases available in the market, so you need to check with the vendor which technologies they will use in the web development.

    • Legacy Browser Support Requirements

      How many visitors still use outdated browsers like Internet Explorer 11? Do they require assistance? Making a web solution work or display properly in a legacy browser requires additional development time.

    Aspects Description
    Third-party Software Integrations

    If your current web portal relies on third-party services for email newsletters, marketing automation, CRM/contact management, or inventory management, so make sure to mention them so that these can be integrated with the new web solution design and explain how you expect it to work.

    For instance, when someone subscribes to a newsletter, the contact should be automatically added to Salesforce. If a customer buys a product and opts in, their details should be added to your database, and so on.

    User accounts

    Do you need membership management for your web portal?

    This is for granting people access to special or hidden content on your web solution, such as after submitting an email address or paying to view a whitepaper. An example would be password-protected pages that anyone with the same password can access without needing to be logged in.


    Do you need the web portal to be accessible to people who have low vision?

    This is becoming a more common item in RFPs, and it’s important to understand that accessibility requirements fall on a spectrum, and you should know how far you want to go with it or leave it to the web agencies to make a recommendation.


    How do you intend to track inbound visitors and content success?

    You should ask the vendor how to manage and track these data after the project begins. Google Analytics is a popular option because it is free and effective, but many other options provide additional functionality, such as Crazy Egg, which generates heat maps to aid in conversions.

  8. The Primary Point of Contact for Communication Throughout the Project

    Doing any of your work is pointless if you do not provide information to submit. Ensure the end of your RFP includes a way for bidders to send you their proposals, whether it’s an email for digital copies or a physical address. Incorporate DMARC reports for email security and highlight the need for a clear proposal submission method.

    Also, if you want to use a task-management app like Hitask or Google Tasks to schedule weekly check-ins and feedback calls, just mention it on the RFP. If not sure, you can discuss it with your assigned project manager.

  9. Project Deployment to Maximize Value

    What happens after the web project is completed and launched?

    It’s fairly common to enter into an ongoing retainer agreement with the vendor for support, training, ongoing development, strategy, and search engine optimization, among other things.

    In reality, the launch of a website is only the beginning of a process: in addition to fixing bugs and adding features in the future, you must also consider how you will drive sales-ready leads and traffic to the new web solution.

    Web solutions are ongoing efforts that must adapt to new technologies and use cases — or, in the best-case scenario, be scaled to handle massive amounts of traffic!

    If post-launch marketing and advertising are important for you, search for full-service web companies that will create and develop the site and work with you to maximize its value after it is launched. Next, let’s check how to select the best vendor for your project.

Which Criterias to Know for Selecting the Best Vendor?

Remember that the purpose of the proposal you send is to assess the quality of vendor fit for your project. Some questions you could ask the proposer to include in the reply can be:

  1. Examples of similar projects (to assess technical capability)
  2. Client references, as well as whether email or phone is preferable (to assess credibility)
  3. Timeline of the project, including major tasks and milestones (to assess process)
  4. Accurate estimate budget for the project (to assess process)
  5. Consider mobile/responsive design (to assess familiarity with current trends)

You will receive numerous proposal responses; each company will have different qualities, track records, and skills. Some will compete on price, while others will compete on quality, and still, others will compete on features.

Determine what you want in a vendor:

  • The most affordable option?
  • The quickest delivery?
  • Best quality?

You’re balancing the team’s expertise with your budget constraints, but ultimately, you want the best work partner you can afford. Several of these are undoubtedly important, so prioritize them based on what is most important to you.

That’s all there is to it! That’s our advice on writing a killer web design and development RFP to help you write your first proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Web Development RFP

  1. What is RFP in design?

    A web RFP is a questionnaire document that allows companies to compare web service providers. The RFP provides vendors with background, scope, and technical information.

    The RFP process assists organizations in making data-driven decisions.

    For example, the new web solution must not only address design and technical requirements, but it must also meet the marketing, sales, and IT teams specifications.

  2. Is it possible to automate web development RFP?

    Yes, absolutely, you can automate web development RFP.

    Businesses devote countless hours to responding to proposal requests every year. And it makes sense because proposals are an essential part of the process and can mean the difference between winning and losing deals.

    RFP response software like RFPIO, Loopio, RFP360, and Precorocan save significant time, allowing teams to focus their efforts on creating standout proposals rather than checking boxes. By automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks, teams have more time to personalize responses and make a compelling case for choosing their company’s products or services over the competition.

  3. What is the major difference between an RFI, an RFP, and an RFQ?

    A good way to think about the differences between the RFI, RFP, and RFQ is that each indicates a different level of purchase readiness, with the RFI being the least ready and the RFQ being the most.

    RFI – a request for information indicating that the government body is likely looking for a solution but will not be purchasing anytime soon. The contracting authority will be informed about the available solutions to its business problems and the competing vendors who can assist them after reading the responses to an RFI. They’ll also know which vendors have the most market knowledge or insight in this area.

    RFP – A request for proposal indicates that the issuer is looking for a vendor but needs more information before they can buy and is open to new approaches or ideas. The RFP will request pricing from vendors and the approach they will take if they win the contract. The RFP will also outline the deadlines and timelines to which the successful bidder must adhere.

    RFQ – This is a request for quotation and indicates that the issuer is ready to purchase immediately. They’ve done their homework and know exactly what service or product they want and in what quantities they want it (or for what time). They’re ready for specific pricing and aren’t interested in hearing about new solutions they haven’t considered yet.

  4. What is the RFP timeline?

    The average RFP timeline should be six to ten weeks. Of course, RFP timelines vary greatly depending on the size of your team, the number of vendors included in the RFP, and the type of questions asked.

    average RFP timeline

    Recurring RFPs, for example, issued to known vendors can often be shorter and more focused, shortening the timeline. Furthermore, strategic sourcing RFPs for complex projects and services typically include open-ended questions with room for creativity. As a result, managing and scoring RFPs with subjective questions takes longer.

  5. What exactly is an RFP questionnaire?

    The RFP process also allows vendors to show potential clients why they are the best company for the project. As a result, it’s critical that both the vendor and the client ask the right questions at the start, during, and after the RFP process.

    Throughout the process, asking the right questions will assist clients in putting together a strong request for proposals. Knowing what questions to ask also allows vendors to determine whether the RFP is worth responding to and what to expect from the client negotiation process.

Final Thoughts on Crafting RFP for Your Business Development

An RFP can be useful for finding the best vendors for your web design projects. You can ensure accurate bids from vendors who are a good fit for your project by taking the time to create a well-written document.

Remember to include all of the necessary elements in your RFP for a smoother proposal process, such as project requirements, timeline, budget, and so on. And this way, you can find the ideal vendor for your web design project with a little effort.

Still have doubts?

If so, please do not hesitate to contact us. Monocubed will guide you through the entire process and assist you in developing a secure API. We are a Canadian web development company that works with small, medium, and large-sized businesses and entrepreneurs to build secure applications.

Jeel Patel

Written by

Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Founder of Monocubed and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.